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Xyratex Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of storage specialist Xyratex (Nasdaq: XRTX  ) wilted to the tune of 13% today as investors reacted to a disappointing earnings report.

So what: Fourth-quarter earnings season doesn't officially kick off until next week, but Xyratex got in ahead of the rush (its fiscal year ended Nov. 30). The drop was a pretty cut-and-dried reaction to results that missed Wall Street's expectations. Xyratex reported $397 million in revenue against expectations for $420 million, while earnings per share (excluding unusual items) registered $0.69 versus estimates of $0.74.

Now what: Is today's drop a good reason to jump in and buy? My fellow Fool Anders Bylund isn't so sure, and that's despite the fact that he saw value in the shares back in September when they took a similar dip. What the news from Xyratex may be, however, is a reason to keep an eye on other storage players like EMC (NYSE: EMC  ) and NetApp (Nasdaq: NTAP  ) as we wait to hear fourth-quarter earnings results from them. Volterra Semiconductor (Nasdaq: VLTR  ) , a semiconductor company that sells into the storage market, underscored the results from Xyratex today by lowering its own fourth-quarter revenue guidance.

Want to keep up to date on Xyratex? Add it to your watchlist.

The Fool owns shares of EMC. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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